With the World Renewable Energy Forum just weeks away, people are gathering around its emerging highlights. On night of Monday April 16th, a house party in Boulder filled up with donors to a special workshop, “Engaging Women in Clean Energy Solutions”, held on Mothers’ Day, the day before the general Forum opens.
Years ago, “Energy and Gender” was filed under “Related Topics.” Now it is a full-day workshop, with experts drawn from all corners to share their work realizing the tremendous power of sustainable energy in the hands of women to mobilize markets and alleviate poverty in developing countries. Dr. Barbara Farhar, of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, chairs the technical committee. Dr. Farhar spoke at Monday’s fundraiser about Energy and Gender’s long path and shared examples of work happening now in the areas of electrification, cooking, environmental and public health. Patty Limerick, Faculty Director and Chair of the Board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, also took the floor to support the many young people working for women’s energy access who know that the action of an individual does more than make a difference – it adds up to the future of economies that begin to move on sustainable energy.
In addition to the May 13th workshop, Energy and Gender sessions are integrated throughout WREF 2012, completing the energy and social justice picture. The May 13th workshop, once a footnote, has come of age to open the WREF 2012 conference.